At present, the EU industry uses 150 Mtoe/year of fossil heat through oil, coal, gas. This is equivalent to 1,800 TWh/year. If this industrial heat demand is converted to electroheating technologies, around 750,000 industrial furnaces will be needed. This leads to a new copper demand of 1.5 Mtons. This is based on the following assumptions:
- One furnace requires about 1.2 GWh of electricity (e.g. 400 kW for 3000 hours).
- Switching to electricity reduces final energy consumption by a factor 2.
- 2 tons of copper per furnace for the furnace, its power supply and cabling.
It is highly unlikely that industry will convert from largely combustion technology to electric furnaces, even in a strongly carbon-constrained world. Green combustion using bioenergy or hydrogen will also play an important role. For the moment, we assume that electricity, bioenergy and combustion will play equal roles, leading to 250,000 furnaces and a copper demand of 500,000 tonnes.